We are slowly but surely working our way back into normal life around here. I shared yesterday how you can help the six families at our school that lost their homes during the Hurricane. I know that Harvey has taken a toll on all of us, but the sun is shining now and there is a real sense of hope and strength surrounding us. Please go here if you feel led to give to one of those families. I know they appreciate it more than words could ever express.
Today’s post is perfectly timed because it’s a collaboration with a group of other bloggers to share a day in our ordinary lives! After this week, ordinary, normal lives is what we are all craving! A big thank you to Amy and Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane for including me in the group and for being gracious enough to let me move my post date from last week to today!
If you’re new here, welcome! I’m Megan, a work-from-home mom of two cuties, Jordan, 18 months and James, 7 years old. It’s a long story, but in another life I worked as a lawyer and then my dad became ill and when my legal contract job ended, I found myself out of work. It ended up being the perfect time to take a break because my family really needed me at that time and I was able to go on every doctor visit and every hospital stay with my dad without having to worry about missing time from work. Fast forward three years and I never went back to the legal field and I don’t plan to, but never say never!
Now, I work as a full-time blogger (but I try to squeeze it into part time hours)! There’s never enough hours in the day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel extremely blessed to be able to do what I love to do from home, working around my kids’ schedules. And it lets me connect with you, the awesome readers that have read and supported my blog over the years. Even though we may have never met in ‘real life’, I’m certain we’d be real life friends!
I love these “day in the life” peeks so much, so I hope you enjoy this. It’s supposed to be a whole day recap, and I always like to give you lots of detail, so settle in and get cozy!
I got into a wake up early groove in early May, got off the groove at the end of the summer, but now I’m back on it and I love it! It’s worth that initial pain to get so many things accomplished by 8am! On days that I work out in the morning (usually 3 days a week), I wake up at 5:30 to start my day.
I immediately get up, brush my teeth and change into my workout clothes. Then, I head downstairs and drink a protein drink because I need something in my stomach to get me through a workout. I’ve never been able to workout on an empty stomach. I fill up my water bottle, grab my gym bag and head out the door. If you need some wake up early tips, check out mine here.
I’ve been doing a 6am group class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and my hubby does his early workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also do a Saturday class and sometimes run in the evenings on Tuesdays. It all kind of depends on who has what going on that week, but I definitely make the effort because exercise is my natural stress reliever!
I usually get home about 7 a.m. and Jordan is just about to wake up. I jump in the shower and then put my hair up wet and get dressed for the day. I like to let my hair air dry and then fix it later, unless I have somewhere to be in the morning.
I’ll quickly put on makeup, which only takes about 5 minutes, but makes me feel much better. Ever since I got my eyebrows microbladed, I feel like it takes even less time to get ready because I don’t have to spend any time filling them in.
The good thing about working from home is that you can work in your pajamas if you want to, but I find that if I don’t get out of my pajamas, I’m not that productive. So, even if I just throw on jean shorts and a cozy cardi, I feel more “dressed” and I’m more likely to get things done.
Next, I head downstairs, make breakfast for me and the kids while James gets ready for school. I never skip breakfast! I would chew my arm off if I haven’t eaten within an hour of waking up, which is why the protein drink helps sustain me until I can have breakfast. I usually have a protein pancake with peanut butter and syrup or steel cut oats with cinnamon and raisins, topped with milk and sliced almonds. Another quick option if you don’t feel like cooking are these frozen protein waffles.
Jordan is a great eater and loves everything! For breakfast she usually eats oatmeal, pancakes, toast, fruit or some combination with a sippy cup of milk. I love to watch her eat, so being able to slow down and savor our morning meal is really nice.
I feel like she’s getting so big lately! She’s 18 months old and her hair has grown almost long enough for me to put it up in a baby topknot. These cute pjs are size 2T! What?! They’re still a little big, but I got them at Nordstrom and they seriously have the.cutest.clothes for little girls!! It’s a wonder I haven’t gone broke shopping for her because everything they carry is seriously adorable! Don’t even get me started on all the Fall goodness, but I try not to go crazy because I know she is growing so fast.
After I clear our dishes and put them in the dishwasher, it’s finally time for coffee!! This is seriously one of the best parts of my day and I love enjoying my morning cup of coffee each day.
James is off to school by 7:30 or so, so I have the rest of the morning to just hang out and play with Jordan. I don’t really worry too much about picking up the house during the day- it’s just going to get messy again. We’ll usually do a 15-minute pick up at the end of the day.
If you want to see what the house looks like when my sweet little tornado isn’t running everywhere, go here. 😉
We are so fortunate that my mom is able to come everyday from about 9-3 and watch Jordan so I can blog. I hired her as my nanny, so it works out for both of us. Of course we chit chat and catch up when she first gets there, but then I’m up in my office working away. No two days in blogging look the same, but I always try to start with meditating and I use the Headspace app. It helps calm me down and center me because I’m often all crazy like, “I don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do!!!” but if I just meditate and get focused, I’m better able to prioritize.
If I’m doing a fashion photo shoot for my blog, I usually start those as close to 9am as possible because we shoot outside and that’s when it’s not so freaking hot outside where you’re all sweaty and wet. Ideally, we’d shoot at ‘golden hour’ but with a family, it’s hard to get away at that time. My girlfriend Tisha takes my pictures and I LOOOOVVEE hanging out with her. She is amazing and funny and as soon as we get in the car together, we start talking nonstop. We have kids similar ages and so much in common.
Drafting the blog posts is what takes me the most time, but there’s also creating a newsletter (subscribe here!), Instagrams, Facebook posts, pinning content to Pinterest, answering emails and responding to comments. I try to focus on just getting the blog posts done and published, but then things like corresponding and negotiating with brands, accounting and managing invoices, keeping track of expenses, taxes, ad management, picking up supplies for projects and photo shoots, along with keeping up with new tools and attending webinars always takes a ton of time too. There’s also back end technical website stuff to deal with like blog photos uploading slowly or broken links to pages to deal with.
It’s all a whirlwind of go, go, go and I try to get as much done as possible so that I don’t have to work past 3 p.m. when my mom leaves. Of course, there are also lots of times (like yesterday and this specific post) where I’m up in my office late at night to finish up a blog post after the kids go to bed. *I finished at midnight!!!
3 TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
I’ll be sharing more work from home tips for you in a future post, but my top 3 are these:
1. Get showered and dressed. You’ll feel better and be more productive if you’re freshened up and not working in your pajamas.
2. Set work hours. It’s surprisingly easy to work round the clock when you’re in charge of yourself, but setting strict work hours helps you get more done in the set time and leaves you with non-work time so you can be with your family, rest, and just be “off” work.
3. Use a productivity timer. I use this app that sets a 25-minute timer and I work on ONE task for those 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. Usually, for those 25 minutes, I’m writing a blog post or editing photos for a blog post. On average, one blog post can take 4 hours just to write and input photos so I need to focus and set aside any distractions so I can get the work done. If an email pops up or an idea or reminder comes to my mind, I jot it down on a notepad next to me and then during the 5 minute breaks, I’ll work on those little things. This has made a huge impact espeically if there’s some task I’m procrastinating on, I tell myself, “just get started for 25 minutes” and often I get in a groove and it’s done before I know it!
I don’t miss meals! And because Jordan is on such a good routine, I usually head down to make lunch for us around 11:45 and we eat at noon.
For lunch, I usually eat leftovers or make something super quick and easy.
Once in awhile, I’ll make a point to have lunch out with friends because, as wonderful as working from home is, it can also be lonely and isolating. There’s no water cooler chit chat or that coworker to drop by your desk for an afternoon conversation. You really have to make an effort to get out and interact with people and not become a hermit!
Usually, it’s back to work until 3, when my mom leaves and I have to go get James from school.
PICK UP JAMES
At 3:00, we always walk my mom to her car and then walk and hang outside for a bit before going to pick up James from school. It’s a great transition from work mode to mom mode and everything seems to slow down when you get outside. Jordan is fascinated with everything and such an explorer. But often I’m chasing way behind her because she’ll take off running and the girl is fast!
I just love watching her cute little legs and body run around! And again, Nordstrom is killing me with the adorable clothes. I mean, teeny tiny Adidas?!?! Are you kidding me??!! I’m crazy for the Baby Boden line they carry. That’s the brand shirt she has on. The quality is really good and they have such a soft color palette of darling clothes for both girls and boys. Have you seen their overalls? #beyond!
It’s not too bad, but if Jordan is getting fussy in the pick up line, I’ll play kids songs and that usually pacifies her. We get home around 4:00 and James hangs out, eats a snack, and eventually starts his after school chores and homework while Jordan goes down for a late afternoon nap. I think she’ll be transitioning to one after-lunch nap soon, but right now she’s still on two.
I start making dinner around 5 and we eat around 5:30- I know, super early birds, but we blame it on the baby. Lately, Jordan’s been super clingy at this time of the day, so sometimes I play with her and my hubby cooks. After dinner, we might do a quick play outside at a nearby park to get all the crazy kid energy out before it’s time to start the bath and bedtime routine.
I had a major #momfail last week when we got so much rain and I realized Jordan didn’t have any rain boots. Ever since I got my own pair of Hunters last year (and did a comparison of Uggs & Hunters), I’ve been the biggest fan, and I get so many opportunities to wear them, so I knew Jordan needed a pair. Hers arrived a few days ago and they are perfect! It was hard to narrow down the color, but I chose pink high-gloss for her.
Jordan gets a bath at 6:30ish and then we wind down in her room with reading and then it’s bedtime for her between 7-7:30.
After that, I’m pooped and usually sit my booty on the couch and watch TV with my hubby. James goes to bed at 8:30 and that’s usually when I’ll post an evening Instagram and watch tv shows that are inappropriate for James. #realhousewives
If I’m getting up at 5:30, I need to be in bed by about 9 and hopefully, asleep by 9:30. I love to read to unwind and I just started listening to podcasts, so those help get me into bed as opposed to sitting on the couch watching tv.
Thanks again for joining me on this Day in the Life, you can check out all my friends’ days below!